What Lisa Watched Last Night #184: Prescription For Danger (dir by Caroline Labrèche)


Last night, I watched Prescription for Danger on Lifetime!

Why Was I Watching It?

Much like The Wrong Daughter, this was another Lifetime movie that I somehow missed when it originally aired.  Lifetime was nice enough to rebroadcast it last night, which gave me a chance to get caught up!

What Was It About?

Imagine two people who appear to have it all.

On the one hand, you have Ivy (Joanne Kelly).  Ivy is a smart and successful businesswoman.  She’s driven, often to the point of distraction.  She’s put her personal life on hold and it’s paid off with a lot of success at a young age.  Of course, as a result, she’s still single.  And she’s been suffering from terrible migraines ever since college.  When she finally pushes herself too far, she collapses and finally has to go to the hospital.

And then there’s Dr. Mark Ryan (Shaun Benson).  At first glance, he appears to be intelligent, kind, professional, and dedicated.  Of course, there is a woman who is suing him but Dr. Ryan swears that she’s crazy.  And Dr. Ryan has been fined in the past for ethical lapses but then again, who hasn’t?

When Dr. Ryan examines Ivy, he announces to her that she has brain cancer but that he has the perfect cure!  But what if Ivy doesn’t have cancer?  What if Dr. Ryan is lying to her and giving her placebos just because he’s a manipulative sociopath?

And, if that’s bad enough, what if Ivy finds herself falling in love with him?

What Worked?

Joanne Kelly and Shaun Benson both did a good job in the leading roles.  Benson, who previously played another Lifetime psycho in Kept Woman, was convincing both as a caring doctor and a totally unhinged madman.  You understood why Ivy was willing to trust the doctor and, at the same time, you couldn’t wait to see him get his final comeuppance.

Director Caroline Labrèche did a great job of visually putting us into Ivy’s mind, especially when she was on the verge of collapsing at the start of the film.  As melodramatic as the plot was, Labreche actually told her story in a relatively low-key fashion, one that was certainly different from what we typically expect from a Lifetime movie.

What Did Not Work?

At the same time, the film’s relatively low-key approach was something of a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, you had to appreciate the fact that the film was attempting to take its story seriously.  At the same time, as a regular Lifetime viewer, I couldn’t help but regret that the film didn’t take the opportunity to go totally over-the-top.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the Stalked By My Doctor films.

(Then again — and this is why you should probably ignore most critics — if the film had gone over-the-top, it’s likely that people online would have complained that it was just trying to be another Stalked By My Doctor.  Ultimately, the only critic that matters is you, the viewer.)

“OMG!  Just like me!” Moments

I related to Ivy, in both her drive to be successful and her hesitation about dealing with hospitals and doctors.  If, God forbid, I was every told that I needed chemotherapy, I would have had much the same reaction as Ivy.  Joanne Kelly did a good job of bringing her to life,

 Lessons Learned

Trust no one, which seems to be a pretty common lesson to be learned from Lifetime films.  If you didn’t already distrust doctors as a result of the Stalked By My Doctor films, you certainly will after Prescription for Danger.  (Except, of course, for the doctor who I see for my ADD, because he is seriously a prince!)

What Lisa Watched Last Night #183: The Wrong Daughter (dir by Ben Myerson)


Last night, I watched The Wrong Daughter on the Lifetime Movie Network!

Why Was I Watching It?

I think I must have missed The Wrong Daughter when it originally premiered on Lifetime.  Maybe I was out spying on the neighbors or something.  Who knows?  Fortunately, Lifetime always shows their movies about a hundred different times during the year so, last night, I got a chance to catch up!

What Was It About?

Kate (Cindy Busby) has a lot to deal with!  Not only is she trying to open up her own restaurant but she and Joe (Jon Prescott) are desperate to start a family.  In the aftermath of another failed IVF treatment, Kate promptly starts repainting the nursery and talking about how she could turn the room into an office.  (Interestingly, they live in a pretty big house so I’m kind of surprised she didn’t have an office already.)  However, Joe has a solution!  Maybe Kate could try to track down the girl that she gave up for adoption 17 years ago!

Meanwhile, 18 year-old Samantha (Sydney Sweeney) is just about to get kicked out of her group home.  Abandoned by her mother when she was born, Samantha has never been adopted.  Why not?  Well, it might have something to do with Samantha being slightly psychotic.  And while you may be thinking that Samantha is probably Kate’s long lost daughter, she’s not!  However, her roommate is!  When Samantha runs away and steals Danica’s (Sierra Pond) laptop, she discovers a message from Kate, announcing that she’s Danica’s mother and inviting Danica to come see her.

Soon, Samantha is at Kate’s restaurant, dressed demurely, claiming to be Danica, and working her way into Kate and Joe’s life.  Meanwhile, the real Danica just wants her laptop back.  Samantha, however, is happy being Danica and is willing to do anything — from bribing an old homeless woman to pretend to be the head of the group home when Kate calls to murdering anyone who turns their back on her — to remains so.

What Worked?

This was a pretty good example of the “killer imposter” genre of Lifetime films.  Movies like this pretty much live and die based on the performance of the imposter and Sydney Sweeney did a good job playing the duplicitous Samantha.  It was especially fun to watch her switch back and forth between being demure Danica and murderous Samantha.

What Did Not Work?

How naive can one person be?  That’s kind of the question that I had to ask about Kate, who was both a savvy businesswoman and yet somehow was easily fooled by even the most obvious of Samantha’s lies.  As much fun as it was to watch Kate get fooled over the phone by a crazy homeless woman, it was still hard not to wonder how that could have possibly happened in the first place.

“OMG!  Just like me!” Moments

From the minute Samantha first climbed through the window of her group home, I started having flashbacks.  That’s the same way that I used to sneak out of the house.  When you’re growing up in the suburbs, it helps to be a good climber.

Lessons Learned

Protect your laptop with you life.

What The Hell Did Lisa Watched Last Night #182: The Proposal Episode 1


Though I’m really hesitant to admit it and I’ll probably deny it if anyone asks me in the future, last night I watched the first episode of the new ABC “reality dating” show, The Proposal.  How soul-searingly bad was The Proposal?  It was so bad that I am now convinced that not only is our current world about to end but also whatever world comes along to replace it is probably doomed as well.

 

Why Was I Watching It?

Because I’m an idiot.

What Was It About?

If you’ve ever watched The Bachelor, you know that it’s pretty much a tradition for the women (and the men, in the case of The Bachelorette) to announce that they can see themselves marrying the Bachelor after only knowing him for three days.  Of course, the audience at home always rolls their eyes when they say that.  We know they’ve probably been pressured to say that by the show’s producers, just like we know that there’s little chance that anyone on the show’s actually going to end up getting married to anyone else on the show.  It’s a fantasy and it’s kinda fun to get lost in it.

Well, The Proposal is basically The Bachelor on cheap steroids.  Now, instead of taking a whole three days to fall in love, The Proposal suggests that it can be done in an hour!  Woo hoo!

Here’s how last night’s show worked.  A man named Mike was sitting in a pod, hidden from the view of the audience.  Host Jesse Palmer assured us that Mike was a good guy and a police officer who deserved a good wife.  We were also told that, as the result of getting hit by a drunk driver, Mike lost part of his right leg but he was still an athlete who loved to go on hikes.  The message was clear: “If you think what’s happening is totally regressive and problematic, then you’re a terrible person who is saying that a one-legged first responder doesn’t deserve a chance at happiness.”

Ten heartbreakingly insecure women were brought out on stage.  While wearing swimsuits, each one made a pitch to Mike (who, keep in mind, was hidden from view the whole time).  Mike proceeded to cut five girls, all of whom were promptly ordered to get off the stage.  Mike then asked the five remaining girls a question.  Based on their answers, two girls were cut and three were left on stage.

From the beginning, it was obvious that the final three were going to be Jessica, Monica, and Kendal.  Jessica and Monica were the most attractive while Kendal was the only one who had a real job.  In fact, Kendal was a neuropsychologist who spoke movingly about how happy it made her to help stroke victims.  Given Mike’s own stated to desire to want to inspire people and create something good from his accident, Kendal seemed like the perfect choice…

Until, Mike’s best friend, Andrew, asked some questions!  Andrew wanted to know if the women were interested in having children. Kendal said that she didn’t want to have children.  The audience gasped in horror and Kendal got this panicked look on her face.  Oh my God, I’ve missed out on my chance to get proposed to by a man I’ve never seen before because I was honest about not wanting to have children!

Mike announced that the final two would be Monica and Jessica.  Sorry, Kendal!  I guess you should have lied until you got that ring!

Once Kendal was gone, the pod opened and Mike emerged.  Everyone breathed a sign of relief as Mike turned out to be a generically handsome guy who basically looked like a cop.  (He even sported the shaved head look that is oddly popular among police officers.)  At this point, I was sure that Monica and Jessica would get a chance to ask a question but no.  That’s not the way The Proposal works.  The fact that Mike looked like he might be distantly related to Wentworth Miller was good enough.  There was no need to know how he voted or if he was religious or if he drank or anything else.  Instead, Moncia and Jessica were sent backstage to work on their final plea and change into a nicer outfit.

After a commercial break, both Jessica and Monica returned and made their final pleas but it didn’t really matter what they had to say.  Mike was staring at Monica even while Jessica was talking.  Mike announced that he had been smitten with Monica from the first time he saw her an hour ago.  He got down on his one knee and proposed to her.  She said yes.  While Jessica silently headed backstage, Monica and Mike shared their first kiss.

“You’re a wonderful kisser,” she told her bald pod person, before adding, “Just wait until later!”

What Worked

Oh God.

Actually, let’s give credit where credit is due.  The off-stage announcer was properly snarky as each women was introduced.  The tone basically said, “Yeah, I can’t believe this is actually happening, either.”

Plus, I had a lot of fun live tweeting the event!  My anxiety was acting up something awful all day yesterday but making fun of The Proposal on twitter helped me calm down.

What Did Not Work

Every single moment of this show was icky and regressive.  Imagine The Bachelor without any of The Bachelor‘s goofy charm and you’ve got The Proposal.

“OH MY GOD!  Just like me!” Moments

None.  Absolutely none.  Well, okay — I did relate to the women’s obvious terror when, at the beginning of the show, they were forced to walk down a steep staircase in high heels.  I’m amazed that everyone made it down safely.

 Lessons Learned

The world is doomed.

Also, I’ll apparently watch anything.  What’s really sad is I know I’m probably going to watch next week’s episode, too.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #182: Stalked By My Doctor: Patient’s Revenge (dir by Doug Campbell)


On Sunday night, I watched the third chapter in the Stalked By My Doctor franchise, Patient’s Revenge!

Why Was I Watching It?

The obvious answer is that I was watching it because it was on Lifetime.  This summer, Lifetime is going to be premiering a new movie every Sunday.  Given my obsession with Lifetime movies, it shouldn’t be hard to guess what I’ll be doing on most Sunday nights.

Of course, at the same time, I absolutely loved both Stalked By My Doctor and Stalked By My Doctor: The Return.  There was no way that I was going to miss the next chapter in the saga of Dr. Albert Beck.

And finally, there’s the Eric Roberts factor.  Quite a few of us here at the TSL Bunker are fascinated by the always interesting, often downright bizarre career of Eric Roberts.  He’s a talented and always quirky actor who apparently really likes to work.  The appeal of Eric Roberts is you never know where he’s going to turn up.  You can find him in theaters.  You can find him on Lifetime.  You can find in him in blockbusters and you can find him in short students films.  You can even find him in music videos.  Eric Roberts is everywhere!  And, even more importantly, he’s always willing to throw himself into every role that he plays, no matter how bizarre that role may be.

What Was It About?

Following the events of the second Stalked By My Doctor film, Dr. Albert Beck (Eric Roberts) was put on trial for kidnapping Sophie Green (Brianna Joy Chomer).  Despite all of the evidence against him, Dr. Beck was acquitted.  (Perhaps it had something to do with the way he smiled and waved at one certain juror during the trial…)  Now, Dr. Beck is teaching at a college in Arizona.  To most people, Dr. Beck appears to be perfectly normal, if understandably anxious.  However, it doesn’t take long to discover that Dr. Beck still has plenty of issues.

For instance, the first time he steps into a classroom, he immediately imagine all of his students undressing in front of him.  Whenever Beck talks to himself, he imagines that he sees another Dr. Beck sitting in front of him.  The imaginary Dr. Beck wears a Hawaiian shirt and always seems to disagree with whatever the real Dr. Beck wants to do.

Following Beck’s acquittal, Sophie has started dressing in all black.  She’s also secretly transferred to Dr. Beck’s school, where she immediately starts to circulate a petition to get him fired.  However, Dr. Beck apparently has a new girlfriend.  Her name is Melissa (Anna Marie Dobbins) and she appears to be just as obsessed with Dr. Beck as Dr. Beck once was with Sophie.  When Melissa says that she’ll do anything to protect Dr. Beck, she’s not exaggerating.  Soon, Melissa is taking things further than even Dr. Beck could have predicted…

What Worked?

Three words: Dancing Eric Roberts.  At one point, out of nowhere, Dr. Beck starts to sing to Sophie.  He takes her hand and the two of them start to dance by the side of the road.  Of course, it’s another one of Dr. Beck’s fantasies but who cares?  It’s a brilliantly strange and unexpected moment and it’s also a perfect example of what makes the Stalked By My Doctor films so much fun.  Dr. Beck is such a flamboyantly unhinged character that literally anything can happen.

Just as in the previous two films, Eric Roberts appears to be having the time of his life in the role of Dr. Beck.  He’s just so weaselly and desperate to be viewed as normal that it becomes fascinating to watch him try to fool everyone.  Each Stalked By My Doctor film starts with the question of just how far Dr. Beck is going to go this time and, thanks to Roberts, it’s always a lot of fun to discover the answer.  Rather brilliantly, in this installment, Roberts plays up Beck’s befuddlement.  Often times, not even Dr. Beck can believe how crazy he is!

(“Did I do that?” Beck sincerely asks himself at one point.)

Brianna Joy Chomer and Anna Marie Dobbins also did good work in their roles.  Dobbins, especially, seemed to be having a lot of fun outcrazying Dr. Beck.

There’s a twist towards the end of the movie, of course.  You might see the twist coming but it’s still entertaining.  In fact, the whole film is entertaining.  This is a fun and over-the-top Lifetime melodrama, one that knows better than to take itself too seriously.  With each wink at the audience, it invites us to relax and enjoy.

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Much like Sophie, I used to always wear black.  And, much like Melissa, I’ve learned that pretending to faint is a good way to become the center of attention.

Lessons Learned

You can’t keep a good doctor down!

 

 

What Lisa Watched Last Night #181: Nightclub Secrets (dir by Joe Menendez)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime Movie Network premiere, Nightclub Secrets!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on the Lifetime Movie Network, of course!

However, I also have to say that I really liked the title.  Usually, whenever the word “secrets” appears in the title of a Lifetime movie, it’s a good sign.  And, let us not forget, this title not only promised us secrets but nightclub secrets as well!  As anyone who has watched 54 can tell you, nightclubs are full of secrets…

What Was It About?

It’s the story of two sisters and their alcoholic mother.  Rachel (Rachel Hendrix) is wild and does mysterious things.  Zoe (Kate Mansi) reads mysteries and teaches a creative writing class, in which she encourages her students to be sadists when it comes to coming up with difficulties for their characters to overcome.

It’s also the story of a murder.  When Zoe is informed that Rachel’s been murdered, she decides to investigate her sister’s secret life.  It leads to the shy and repressed Zoe getting a job as a “bottle girl” at the same nightclub where her sister worked.  How many secrets can you fit in a nightclub?  It’s time for Zoe to find out!

What Worked?

I liked the sibling relationship between Rachel and Zoe.  It rang true and it’s authenticity provided some needed depth to the film’s plot.  Kate Mansi, who played Zoe, has done a quite a few Lifetime films and always does a good job of striking the right balance between emotional honesty and melodramatic fun.  As well, I thought Gigi Rice did a good job playing the alcoholic mother.

Towards the end of the film, there was an enjoyably absurd twist.  I won’t spoil it in this review but it was still fun, even if it did demand quite a suspension of disbelief.

What Did Not Work?

For a movie that was called Nightclub Secrets, the film really didn’t feature enough secrets about the nightclub.  I was hoping for something that would be a little bit more fun and sordid like Confessions of a Go Go Girl or maybe Babysitter’s Black Book.  Instead, this movie was a pretty much a standard Lifetime murder mystery that just happened to feature a nightclub.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I related to both of the sisters.  I can be wild like Rachel.  I can be shy like Zoe.  Zoe and I both love solving a mystery.  That said, I don’t know if I’d ever want to work in a nightclub, if just because I’m not a huge fan of crowds, drunks, or, for that matter, working.  So, if I got a job in a nightclub, I supposed it would have to be one of those struggling nightclubs that no one ever goes to.  Of course, those nightclubs always go out of business after a few weeks so it probably really wouldn’t be worth the trouble to even apply for the job.

On an unrelated note, I used to live near a nightclub where you were required to bring your tax return if you wanted to get inside.  If you didn’t make a certain amount of money, you weren’t allowed to enter.  Needless to say, on any given night, you could find the least likable people in the world standing in line outside of the place.  If any business was ever begging to be the target of a wacky, Ocean’s 11-style heist, it was that place.  Of course, the last time I drove by there, it had been turned into a Gold’s Gym.

Lessons Learned

It’s not easy being a bottle girl.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #180: Mommy Be Mine (dir by Sean Olson)


On Friday night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Mommy Be Mine!

Why Was I Watching It?

Finally, I’m healthy again!  After spending two freaking weeks getting my ass kicked by allergy season, I finally feel as if I can start writing about and reviewing movies again.  Obviously, after being knocked out for two weeks, I’ve got a lot to get caught up on so I decided what better way to start than to watch the Friday premiere of the latest Lifetime film, Mommy Be Mine?

What Was It About?

It’s Cara’s (Sierra Pond) first day at school and she already has a friend!  In fact, Cara has decided that Summer (Ava Locklear) is her best friend, despite the fact that 1) Cara has only known her for a day and 2) Summer already has a best friend, the wonderfully sarcastic Tori (Megan McGown).

Still, Cara is determined to not only make Summer like her but to also become a surrogate daughter to Cara’s mother, Lianne (Arianne Zucker).  In fact, Cara even starts to call Lianne “mom.”  Everyone agrees that’s kind of creepy but Cara seems like such a nice girl.  I mean, it’s not like she’s actually a psychotic killer who has killed in the past and who is planning on killing again…

Or is she!?

What Worked?

Sierra Pond did a good job as the scheming psycho.  It was obvious that she was having fun playing the role and, as a result, it was fun to watch her perform.  As well, Arianne Zucker was sympathetic as the overprotective mother.  When she finally snapped and told off Cara, it was a great moment.

What Did Not Work?

Usually, I have little trouble suspending my disbelief when it comes to a Lifetime film.  Lifetime films are specifically designed to be melodramatic and just a little bit silly.  That’s what makes them so much fun.  If the characters didn’t always do the stupidest possible thing, the viewer would miss out on the fun of yelling, “Oh my God, you’re so stupid!”

That said, even by the standards of Lifetime, Cara was a bit too obviously insane.  That’s not to say that Seirra Pond didn’t do a good job playing the role.  She appeared to be having a lot of fun with the role.  But, as a character, Cara was so obviously messed up that it was hard to sympathize with anyone who would actually be stupid enough to allow her into their house.  The minute she started calling Lianne “mom” should have been the minute that both Lianne and Summer announced, “Okay, time for you to go away now!”

As good as the rest of the cast was, Ava Locklear sometimes seemed to be lost in the role of Summer.  This was her first leading role and, in some scenes, her inexperience definitely showed.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

As always, I totally related to the sarcastic (if obviously doomed) best friend.  From the minute that she first met Cara, Tori not only knew that she was up to no good but she had no hesitation about sharing that opinion.  Unfortunately, characters in Lifetime films never seem to listen to their sarcastic best friend until it’s too late.  Sarcastic best friends always end up dying a little after the one hour mark and it’s a shame.

Lessons Learned

Seriously, if your oldest friend in the world says your newest friend is a psycho bitch, don’t question the conclusion.  Trust the voice of experience.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #179: Fiance Killer (dir by Fred Olen Ray)


Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and watched the latest Lifetime movie, Fiance Killer!

Why Was I Watching It?

It was on Lifetime!  By now, y’all should know that I’ll watch anything that’s on Lifetime!

What Was It About?

So, Cameron (Felisha Cooper) is about to be very, very rich.  As soon as she turns 25, she’ll be coming into a huge inheritance!  On top of that, Cameron also has a new boyfriend.  His name is Brent (Adam Huss) and he runs a non-profit!  Or, at least, that’s what he says.  Cameron’s mother (Kari Wuhrer) doesn’t trust him.  In fact, she does a background check on him and comes away convinced that Brent is only interesting in Cameron’s money.  Of course, Cameron doesn’t believe that.  In fact, Cameron is so offended by her mother’s paranoia that she elopes with Brent!

Except, of course, mom is right.  Brent is after Cameron’s money.  Of course, Brent doesn’t really have it in him to commit murder.  However, his girlfriend, Lexi (Jean Louise O’Sullivan), definitely does…

What Worked?

Lexi is one of my favorite characters of all time!  Seriously, she must have undergone ninja training at some point because she could seriously just pop up anywhere.  Someone gets in a car and there’s Lexi in the back seat!  Someone goes down to the kitchen and there’s Lexi hiding behind the refrigerator.  My favorite thing about Lexi was that, for all of the intricate plotting that went into her scheme, she didn’t really seem to care whether it actually worked or not.  Lexi was an agent of pure chaos, less a schemer and more a revolutionary.  Jean Louise O’Sullivan had a lot of fun with the role.

What Did Not Work?

Obviously, with any Lifetime film, you’re going to have to suspend your disbelief to a certain extent but seriously, Cameron was occasionally too naive to be believed.  Maybe if she had been 18, I could have bought that she wouldn’t be able to see through Brent and his schemes.  But, by the time you turn 25, you really should know better.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Obviously, it would have been nice if I could have related to Cameron, who was a very nice person and always tried to do the best for everyone.  But, honestly, I could never do the whole eloping thing.  When I do get married, it’s going to be a huge wedding and I’m going to expect a lot of expensive gifts.  As well, I couldn’t ever marry someone who worked for a “non-profit” because bragging about working for a company that doesn’t make a profit just seems strange to me.

So, that pretty much left with me with little choice but to relate to Lexi.  Unfortunately, Lexi killed people and I’m not really into that either.  However, I do enjoy making a scene so I guess Lexi and I had that in common.

Lessons Learned

I should sign up for ninja training as soon as possible.  Admittedly, I might not be a very good ninja and I’m not really sure if there’s much ninja work available where I live but I’d still love to learn how to just pop up anywhere whenever I wanted to.  That seems like that could be a valuable skill to have.